By: Eric Siegel, Founder, Predictive Analytics World

In anticipation of his upcoming conference presentation, The Importance of an Early Win in Promoting a Greater Predictive Analytics Capability, at Predictive Analytics World Chicago, June 8-11, 2015, we asked Thomas Schleicher, Sr. Director, Measurement Science at National Consumer Panel (by Nielsen), a few questions about his work in predictive analytics.

Q: In your work with predictive analytics, what behavior do your models predict?

A: The simple answer is attrition. Our prospective panelists who scored well according to our predictive model were shown to have a statistically significant, lower 12-month attrition rate than those who the model scored as poor prospective panelists. Panelists, for us, are analogous to subscribing customers in other industries, such as telecommunications.

Q: How does predictive analytics deliver value at your organization? What is one specific way in which it actively drives decisions?

A: Because we are obligated to maintain a 100,000 member consumer panel as a client KPI, reducing attrition is critical. Deploying our predictive model lowers attrition, reducing our need to recruit new panelists, which of course also has the effect of reducing recruitment costs.

Q: Can you describe a successful result, such as the predictive lift of your model or the ROI of an analytics initiative?

A: The predictive model lowered our rate of attrition by an average of 3.5% over two independent evaluations of its impact. We’re still working on establishing the best gauge of ROI, given that there are direct, short-term benefits achieved through reduced recruitment costs, as well associated savings through a lower need to purchase scanners for panelists. Senior management is interested in ongoing improvement of the model as well as clearer measures of its value.

Q: What surprising discovery have you unearthed in your data?

A: Some of the variables that were part of the predictive mix were not immediately intuitive. This has helped to reinforce the Measurement Science team’s quest to develop an integrated database that will enable expanded predictive capability.

Q: Sneak preview: Please tell us a take-away that you will provide during your talk at Predictive Analytics World.

A: I plan to share how the success of this model has helped to promote not just the benefit, but the need for a predictive analytics capability. I believe our success is applicable to other organizations also interested in developing and/or expanding a data driven culture that adds true value. Knowing where to start is critical.

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Don't miss Thomas Schleicher’s conference presentation, The Importance of an Early Win in Promoting a Greater Predictive Analytics Capability, at Predictive Analytics World Chicago on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 from 4:15-5:00 pm.  Click here to register for attendance.

By: Eric Siegel, Founder, Predictive Analytics World

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